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Your opinion on mid-level remote gear ? Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 2nd October 2002
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Your opinion on mid-level remote gear ?

Welcome Steve, damn do I want to pick your brain!

I'm a project studio guy, getting decent sound and having fun. I've done a couple of remote gigs for some friends and it was a blast. I'd really appreciate your recomendations for decent gear for remote work, realizing it's all subject to the room and the players, but recognizing that you've probably tried a LOT of gear over the years.

Here's what I've worked with so far:

Titanium Powerbook
Digi 001 in a Magma chasis
Apogee Rosetta A/D
Avalon M5s
Neumann RSM-191A Stereo Mic

I've had mixed results. I seemed to find a pocket with no bass this last time out, but I couldn't tell because I didn't have enough isolation in my headphones. Damn dissapointing to find that out later.

If you were going to head out with a simple rig like this, a stereo mic or a matched pair, and a couple of good preamps, what would they be ? Your first choice for a compressor ?

I'd appreciate any info.


- Tubelover
Old 2nd October 2002
  #2
Steve could you bear location recording with just 2 mic's?

Would you crave "spot mic's"?

BTW - The 001 has a potential for 16 inputs (by adding a 8 ch RME ADI Pro interface via light pipe)

Just causing trouble!

Old 2nd October 2002
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

Yes I'm asking Steve to consider using just 2 mics, the best can do with less in my experience.

And your're right, I could run 16 in, but I'm saving the questions about what to add to the stereo pair, how to handle the phase issues between the close miked and stereo pair, and when to use a DI.

- Tubelover
Old 2nd October 2002
  #4
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
Steve could you bear location recording with just 2 mic's?

Would you crave "spot mic's"?

BTW - The 001 has a potential for 16 inputs (by adding a 8 ch RME ADI Pro interface via light pipe)

Just causing trouble!

It's funny that you said that.

Side Bar: Lately, I've been dabbling in producing and directing live video. It's something I really want to do. I think I know enough audio to be a good director. heh heh

Anyway, back to the story: A client of mine asked me to record and produce a DVD of one of her Operatic duo's. I agreed to get involved because I really wanted to produce the video portion of this project. I also wanted to do a good job with the audio portion, so I though of multiple mics all the way for this product. You must have options to choose from.

We booked three days at SUNY Purchase's recital hall for the recording session. We booked three days because the artists needed an off day to rest, in between the two record days.

We set them up mid center stage, with their pianist upstage center. My associate, Dave Wilkerson and I setup two M149's as spot mics, about a foot or so away from the talent. In front of the opened lid piano we setup two TLM170's. Then we placed two Royer Labs 121's downstage center and two TLM103's about 35 feet into the audience. I set these mics up, not to use all together, but to have various sound options in the mix.

We recorded these mics using the True System Precision8 directly to a 48k 24bit Tascam DA98HR. When I played back the spot mics, they freaked out and hated the direct sound. I then opened up the Royer's and they still were displeased. When I brought up the TLM103's that were at least 50 feet away from their lips, they went nuts. They loved them. They started dancing and went crazy with happiness. The session was save by the two audience mics.

On a break, and away from the talent, I turned to Dave and said, "We could have left the van behind and shown up with two mics and a DAT machine and they would have been happier then anything we could have done. To their ear, that was the sound they wanted. To this day, they think I invented a new sound. I wanted to tell them, Dead Heads have been doing this style of recording forever...
Old 2nd October 2002
  #5
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Re: Your opinion on mid-level remote gear ?

Quote:
Originally posted by Tubelover
Welcome Steve, damn do I want to pick your brain!

I'm a project studio guy, getting decent sound and having fun. I've done a couple of remote gigs for some friends and it was a blast. I'd really appreciate your recomendations for decent gear for remote work, realizing it's all subject to the room and the players, but recognizing that you've probably tried a LOT of gear over the years.

Here's what I've worked with so far:

Titanium Powerbook
Digi 001 in a Magma chasis
Apogee Rosetta A/D
Avalon M5s
Neumann RSM-191A Stereo Mic

I've had mixed results. I seemed to find a pocket with no bass this last time out, but I couldn't tell because I didn't have enough isolation in my headphones. Damn dissapointing to find that out later.

If you were going to head out with a simple rig like this, a stereo mic or a matched pair, and a couple of good preamps, what would they be ? Your first choice for a compressor ?

I'd appreciate any info.


- Tubelover


First of all, you got to have fun. So, keep that coming. Getting decent sound is also a good start.

Remember, it's not only about the "gear," it's about the "ear." I truly believe you can do a better service, doing the best you can with want you have, then to have all the latest sh*t and not enough time to maximize the results. Does that make any sense to you?

Yes, it is all subject to the sound of the room and the players you keep, but you can still get the best out of them. I believe (and I know I may get flamed for this, but...) there are no bad sounding rooms, just bad mic placement. If something doesn't sound good, move the damn mic and/or speaker. Don't blame it on the room. May people love to fix the blame then the problem. Without going into who and where, I got a major client because another big remote recording facility blamed their terrible sound recording on the room acoustics, rather then their technique. 14 Albums later, I'm still recording my client records and they never changed a thing in their room. I came in with less mics and placed them where they sounded best. Sure, many may say, it can be better, but at what cost?

When it comes to the laptop stuff, I'm sure there are better people to help you pick what's best for you. The equipment you listed looks just fine to me. Let's take it to another level one step at a time.

Your approach is the key to a successful location recording. I trust you would have not found that bassless pocket if you did a test recording during the soundcheck or rehearsal. You would have heard it ahead of time and could have had a chance to do something about it.

You don't need isolation in your headphones if the band is not playing. I rather record via a mobile unit or setup in an isolated space with plenty of time to get the room right. Those situations do not always happen. When I'm doing a remote recording via a flypack, I always bring speakers with me. Not to play during the band's performance, but to playback when the band is listening to the stuff I just recorded. That's the best time to figure out what you need to do and a great time to find out where your band wants you to go with their sound.

Remember, I can never say it enough, a simple rig, a big rig, no rig, stereo mic or matched pair, good preamps or not, it's not about the gear, it's about the ear!!

Oh, and my first choice for compressor is the one in front of me. If that doesn't work, I'll try the one next to it.

I hope this helped.
Old 2nd October 2002
  #6
Moderator emeritus
 

Re: Re: Your opinion on mid-level remote gear ?

Quote:
Originally posted by Remoteness
Oh, and my first choice for compressor is the one in front of me. If that doesn't work, I'll try the one next to it.
Pay attention, folks - this may well be the best bit of advice ever posted on this board. Thanks, Steve!
Old 2nd October 2002
  #7
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

Re: Re: Re: Your opinion on mid-level remote gear ?

Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Martin


Pay attention, folks - this may well be the best bit of advice ever posted on this board. Thanks, Steve!
i coulda sworn i said the same thing on the drum sub compressor thread.
Old 2nd October 2002
  #8
Moderator emeritus
 

Re: Re: Re: Re: Your opinion on mid-level remote gear ?

Quote:
Originally posted by alphajerk


i coulda sworn i said the same thing on the drum sub compressor thread.
Kinda - you said, "whatever i have available that works in that application..."

Steve's is a little more quotable, because it's more open ended...

It's a variant of 'the best mic for a given application is the one you already own', or for us lazy types, 'the one that's already set up'.
Old 2nd October 2002
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

So the point is that the differences between compressors are subtle ?

- Tubelover
Old 2nd October 2002
  #10
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
No. The difference between compressors can be quite large. But, once you get past a certain quality point you know that none of them are going to destroy your audio. At that point don't obsess over it and just patch in a compressor if you need one. If the character isn't right try a different one.
Old 2nd October 2002
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
But, once you get past a certain quality point you know that none of them are going to destroy your audio.
OK, so would you care to name a few compressors that qualiify for the quality level ? As much as this has been fun, I really didn't get an answer to my question that started the thread.
Old 2nd October 2002
  #12
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Some of it is the obvious stuff. Distressors, 1176 & LA-2a, Trakkers, STC-8, most Tube Tech stuff (CL1B and LCA-2a come to mind as not sucking), Manley, Summit, Aphex solid state stuff, BSS, Pendulem, Focusrite Red & Blue, GML etc.
Old 3rd October 2002
  #13
Gear Maniac
 

Jay I appreciate your reply, however this is one more instance where I just shake my head and wonder why I bothered. The members of this forum chime in with their buddies and confer on a level that has nothing to do with the original post.

I understand that threads digress, that's the nature of any conversation. I've seen most of you on the other active forums and you guys chat up the same stuff there.

I also realize I have no right to expect Steve Remote to actually answer the question. Oh well, I'll go back to lurking and try to gleen some useful info.
Old 3rd October 2002
  #14
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by Tubelover
Jay I appreciate your reply, however this is one more instance where I just shake my head and wonder why I bothered. The members of this forum chime in with their buddies and confer on a level that has nothing to do with the original post.

I understand that threads digress, that's the nature of any conversation. I've seen most of you on the other active forums and you guys chat up the same stuff there.

I also realize I have no right to expect Steve Remote to actually answer the question. Oh well, I'll go back to lurking and try to gleen some useful info.
Hey TubeLover,

How are you? I just got back to the shop from a 24 hour gig up in Boston, MA with the Strokes. They performed at the FleetBoston Pavilion. The gig went great. Those guys were a lot of fun to work with and a bunch of really nice guys to boot. Anyway, I felt I had to answer your original question before I left for my home...

I'm truly sorry you shook your head and wondered why you bothered. I guess I'm not doing a good enough job. I will try to do better for the remaining time I'm Gearslutz' October Guest Moderator. I really thought I answered you the best way I could. I guess, it's all about the "Brand Name" nowadays. I think I got through on the other points, since you're only asking about the compressor stuff. Right?

I was worried about this kind of stuff. It's was one of the reasons why I thought I should not be a Guest Moderator. I'm a pretty busy person, while running my recording business I still need to fit in my recording and mixing schedule. It can get nuts around here at times. Designing and building the new shop and new expando truck also adds to my hectic schedule. I'm not complaining, I'm concerned and trying to explaining my situation to you.

I give my best to whatever I put my hands on. That's why your perception on this matter concerns me deeply. I took on this guest mod. thing, because I wanted to help people like yourself see the bigger picture, rather then hawking gear at you. If I wanted to hawk gear, I would have been a salesperson. I DO understand, and I will try to be as honest as I can with you. But sometimes that may hurt.

I really don't think this thread digressed too much, but that's my opinion.

Yes, Tubeness, you may not have a right to expect me to actually answer the question, but it IS my right to answer you if I want to do the job right. That includes doing the best I can for the October Guest Forum.

So, to answer your original question, "If you were going to head out with a simple rig like this, a stereo mic or a matched pair, and a couple of good preamps, what would they be? Your first choice for a compressor?"

Answer: It depends on the type or style of music I'm recording. No one piece of gear will do the trick. If you work on a wide variety of music styles like I do, you can't have just one device that will do it all. If it did have to be one device, I guess it would have to be very transparent and expensive. But that would defeat the purpose since you're talking about mid-level gear. On the stereo mic front, I'm not a big fan of stereo mikes, but a stereo Neumann or Sennheiser comes to mind. Allthough it's not exactly a stereo mic, I would rather choose the Calrec Soundfield microphone system. Now that's something wonderful. I really love that unit and hope to buy one, someday. But again, not mid-priced. As for a matched pair of mikes, what style of music are you recording? But I said that already -- I know, I know. I'm just trying to tell you, there is no ONE easy fix. Everyone likes different stuff. People record different types of stuff. Things change from day to day. I guess, if you had a gun to my head and said, "Tell me your choice of matched pair of mikes," I would reply, two Sennheiser MKH800's or maybe two M149's, or maybe, C414TLII's, or maybe two specially matched, original, vintage SM57's -- you never know my man, you never know.

Oh, one more thing, you may go back to lurking and glean some useful info, but I believe you got that here. Perhaps, you didn't hear what you wanted to hear? I'm trying to give you useful information, not just a sales suggestion.

Again, I hope this helped.
Old 14th April 2003
  #15
Lives for gear
 
TinderArts's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Remoteness
Lately, I've been dabbling in producing and directing live video. It's something I really want to do. I think I know enough audio to be a good director. heh heh

Steve, I am also futzing with video stuff. I recently picked up Vegas 4 DVD (mostly for the ac3 encoder) and have been having great fun playing with the video side. I've taken songs from over a dozen DVDs I mixed and made a demo DVD of my work using Vegas. It has worked out quite well.

Another video tidbit. I got tired of waiting for the video guys to make me work tapes for my DVD projects so I bought a JVC BR-DV600UA a couple of years ago (it's a MiniDV format, TC recording deck). I simply record the switched feed plus TC and the rough mix. It helped me get to work on the surround mixes much earlier than in past years waiting for the video edit to be done. All that I needed to do when I got the video edit was to conform the audio mix to the EDL.

I'm soon to add another Mini DV deck and a lipstick camera to place over drummers or percussionists. A DVD I did a couple of years ago had no shots of the percussionist, yet he had 14 tracks to HD. A visual guide would have been of great help when mixing his parts.

BTW - for those not aware, www.bstock.com is a good resourse for broadcast gear (at leat it's better than eBay).
Old 15th April 2003
  #16
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Excellent,

I'm gonna look into the JVC DV600UA. I have a Sony DSR1500 for that task. It's in my A/V stem mix track. It's a 16 space rack with room for 2 DSR1500s, a Tascam DA60MKII TC DAT, a Tascam DA98HR, an audio DA, a Sony SMTPE TC window dubber, a SR15 Distripulizer, etc. It's a killer rack for my audio for TV / Video stem mixing vibe.

Bstock.com a cool site. Thanks for the tip!
Old 15th April 2003
  #17
Gear Maniac
 

i know the DSR 1500 is a pricey unit. what is the street value of the DV 600?
Old 15th April 2003
  #18
Lives for gear
 
TinderArts's Avatar
 

There are newer versions (some with small LCD displays) since the 600UA. Mine was about 3k when I bought it. Dont get the 600U, it does not record TC.
Old 16th April 2003
  #19
"On a break, and away from the talent, I turned to Dave and said, "We could have left the van behind and shown up with two mics and a DAT machine and they would have been happier then anything we could have done. To their ear, that was the sound they wanted. To this day, they think I invented a new sound. I wanted to tell them, Dead Heads have been doing this style of recording forever..."

hay, 20 years ago that's just how this deadhead got into remote recording. 2 naks and a sony cassette deck. that just kind of opened a crack in the door. within a couple of years I was recording people and they were paying me! same 2 naks, marantz cassette deck. that's when i fell through the door. 60 mics, 24 tracks DA-78 and a whole bunch other stuff later and I'm still falling through that door. you start with what you've got, you do your best, you make some money, you add some gear. ya, i'm still small time, but its been fun. like they say, what a long strange trip its been...
Old 16th April 2003
  #20
Gear Maniac
 

wildplum,

you should add your web link to that new portable gear thead...
would be killer to see that list build.
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